A March to Remember
On Friday, June 26, at 9:59am I was still planning to watch the NYC Pride March that weekend as a spectator along the two mile parade route. By 10:01am, I decided I didn’t just want to watch the march, I wanted to be a part of it. In those two passing minutes, I heard the news of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges ruling marriage equality as the law of the land. I couldn’t miss out on a chance to be a part of history.
By Sunday, June 28, the day of PrideFest, my friends and I arrived at 36th Street and 5th Ave. to march with the Goldman Sachs contingent. This was not my first year marching, but it was the first year Goldman Sachs marched in NYC Pride. This was a testament to how far industries and businesses have come since the conception of the march following the Stonewall Inn Riots in 1969.
Marching down 5th Ave. is unlike any experience. New York is a crowded place to begin with, but on this day, the streets were filled with thousands of people walking and dancing along 5th Ave., and thousands more lining the streets to cheer the marchers going by.
At several points throughout the March announcers declare the organization walking through. Right before we turned unto Christopher Street, the street housing the landmark Stonewall Inn, one announcer asked our group, “Now, who here identifies as a member of the LGBT community?” A loud roar erupted from our contingent. The next question he asked, “Who here identifies as an ally?” Another shout from our crowd. At that point, the announcer said, “See it doesn’t matter!” We were all celebrating a great moment in the history of the LGBT community and of our nation.
The cheers of love and equality get louder with each step along the March route culminating in the thunder of applause and happiness along Christopher Street. There sure was a lot to celebrate this year! It was truly wonderful to celebrate marriage equality amongst millions of people sharing messages of love and hope. When the march ended and the cheers quieted, one of my friends turned to me and asked if my internship at the National LGBTQ Task Force would end now. I assured her I would be hard at work the next day.
The LGBTQ movement took a leap forward with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage. Many more steps however need to be taken for full lived LGBTQ freedom, equality and justice for all. People can still be fired from their workplace for who they are and who they love, particularly in the 28 states without sexual orientation non-discrimination protections and the 31 states without gender identity and expression non-discrimination protections. LGBTQ folks regularly face housing discrimination, especially LGBTQ people of color. Affordable health care is still not accessible for many LGBTQ people, including reproductive health care. Transgender people regularly face cruel injustices from being profiled by police, to facing sexual assault in prisons and detention centers, to hate-motivated murder—particularly transgender women of color.
We won marriage, and now we need more. I can’t wait till next year to celebrate the next year of victories for our community and our nation.
by Meaghan Annett, National LGBTQ Task Force Communications Intern